ATLANTA - DECEMBER 14: Cornerback Aqib Talib #25 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sets for play against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 14, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
It started with the Kennedy assassination, and grew with the soap opera Dallas, and the high profile, controversial Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1970s and then in the early 1990s. I'm speaking, of course, of the perception that Dallas is a hotbed of unruly, shifteless thugs, and cosmopolitan elitists.
I'd like to argue that this is a grave misconception of my city. Really, it probably is. Cowboys training camp this year featured zero controversy and a lot of football, which is a welcome change, both with respect to the hopes of a playoff-bound Dallas team, and the redemption of a "city without limits."
But buried in headline stories detailing what Brett Favre ate for breakfast are two developing stories, both concerning Dallasites, both going a long way in perpetuating negative ideas about the city of Dallas.
It's no secret that Michael Crabtree, a Texas Tech product via Dallas Carter, has been holding out now for 23 days, hellbent on getting a deal from San Francisco better than that of Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bay, who was drafted three spots ahead of him. Crabtree presumably shares in the popular belief that this pick was a stretch on behalf of the Raiders, and he wants top five money even though he was drafted tenth overall. The former Red Raider's camp has even gone so far as to threaten to reenter the draft in 2010.
This is a patently flawed plan, however. As pointed out at Pro Football Talk, the 49ers will hold Crabtree's rights right up until draft day, meaning he won't be able to work out for another team between now and then. Latest word says that the holdout may extend well into September.
Then, shortly before 1 AM local time last night, Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib, who graduated from Richardson-Berkner was arrested on charges of simple assault and resisting arrest without violence. According to the Tampa Tribune, the former first rounder allegedly struck a cabbie with a closed fist following an argument. Florida State Highway police responded, and Talib, allegedly, refused to get out of the taxi.
This was only hours after the Buccaneers broke camp, making it almost impressive and, sadly predictable. Talib had several run-ins with authorities during his time at Kansas for marijuana-related offenses, and has been in two previous fights in his short time in the NFL, according to Pro Football Talk; one during the rookie symposium last season, and one earlier this year, with teammate Donald Penn.
All is not lost, though. We still have Matthew Stafford (Highland Park) and Jason Smith (W.T. White), who were drafted one and two overall, to hang our hats on. Unless one of them punches a stripper in the next few weeks, I'll call this preseason a push, as far as Dallas' reputation as a city is concerned.
And, I swear, it's really not that bad.